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comment by ButterflyEffect

    Those changes will have a direct impact on Dropbox's profitability. The company wrote in the email that employee perks in total have been costing Dropbox at least $25,000 a year for each employee. Based on Dropbox's roughly 1,500 headcount, that would translate to about $38 million a year. At that scale, any kind of cost savings would help improve its bottom line. Dropbox declined to comment.

That's absurd. Imagine telling someone making minimum wage "yeah, see all these guys at this start-up? The food/beverage benefit of their workplace is worth more than your yearly wage.".

user-inactivated  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A guy I know in "The Valley" is paying $80K a year on housing. To Rent. That is about what my house is worth. His employer, in order to keep him, is debating buying the apartment complex, kicking out the non employees and making his housing a perk of the employment contract.

And yet one more reason for me to never move back to California gets added to the list.

beezneez  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Horrid, frothing bubble

user-inactivated  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The sadly enjoyable thing to watch is what happens when all the service people can't live and work in the same city and have to leave. There are a thousand service jobs that need to be done and done well every day else a city stops functioning. Everything from the teachers, to the police and EMS to the guys who pave the streets to the guys who monitor and repair the sewers. Then you get into the service industry: bartenders, waitresses, the guys who stock the store shelves overnight etc.

All these jobs are not going to earn 100K a year, no matter what the housing market. How many of these people, with 'traditional' skills, are going to start looking at their situation and say "Fuck everything about this shit" and leave?

There are almost 40 million people in California. If 10% of them leave like what happened in the first dot-bomb in '98, where are they going to go and what are they going to do?

goobster  ·  1429 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I left in '98. I was making $75k/yr working for Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley, and I lived in the Haight Ashbury where the rent on my one bedroom apartment with parking was $2200/mo.

I was comfortable, but definitely not saving anything.

I can't imagine what it must be like there, now, almost 20 years later.

San Francisco is 7 miles square. There is no more land. Period. It's like Manhattan, but with higher paying jobs. The future of that city/area is going to be fascinating/horrifying to watch.

snoodog  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Meh these perks cost a fraction of what it would have cost Dropbox if it actually had to pay its employees overtime. They probably get 60 70 hours per week out of their workers and pay them for 40. If employees are making around 100k+ a year that's at least a 50 % discount over paying ot

beezneez  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

(p.s. they can itemize it as a business expense)

ButterflyEffect  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I completely agree. Not the point I was going for, but it's a fair one to make. I've long thought that all of these "benefits" are a cloaked way of Silicon Valley companies to exploit their employees under the guise of generosity. Not to mention the complete elimination of work-life balance.

bfv  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's true, except I don't think they're generally expecting the perks to cause you to work overtime. It's more that if you're going to make people work crazy hours, and you don't want the high turnover that comes with burnout, you take care of the needs they aren't going to have time to take care of themselves because they're working all the time. It's not the mechanism by which companies exploit people, they do that by making unreasonable demands, it's the mechanism by which companies that are going to exploit people keep them from saying "fuck this" and walking.

kleinbl00  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The high turnover rates are documented as a desirable outcome. They are baked into the process. No less than the New York Times called out no less than Amazon for said-same.

bfv  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A year or so is the average stint everywhere, because there are a lot of options and for most of them the only real requirement is knowing the tools, so changing jobs is easy. If you're Google or Amazon you want to keep the people whose primary qualification is knowing information retrieval, or machine learning, or..., you don't care about people whose primary qualification is being able to make python sing and dance because the guys who can make python sing and dance can make python sing and dance anywhere, and are liable to leave because they want to play with a new toy, or have an offer near their favorite pizza place, or...

kleinbl00  ·  1429 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And if you keep hiring entry level people, you never have to give them raises, and if your vesting schedule is 5, 15, 40 40 the stock options you promised them don't even matter because they'll never get more than 20% of them on the outside.

kleinbl00  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  
ButterflyEffect  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Few things make me happier in the work realm than not having a company cell phone. Everyone knows that when I leave, good luck, see you tomorrow.

user-inactivated  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You nailed it. Not paying overtime and having people offline while commuting is why they have all the perks to keep you at the office.

kleinbl00  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Presumes the $25,000 per year per employee is uniform. Suppose Drew gets comped a $200k/mo jet. That's 120 employees worth.

dingus  ·  1430 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In a way it's almost as bad for them as for someone making minimum wage. Home prices in the gentrified parts of Silicon Valley are ridiculously high, so you end up "house-rich cash-poor", or you go off to gentrify another part of town and restart the cycle.